It was a real treat getting to see you again last year! Wow, what a nice time we had during our visit to Hawaii!
Yeah, as I'm sure you know, it takes a lot of nerve to do rubber bands for 300 people! But then again, it actually worked -- that theater had nice visibility, with a tapered floor and all that, which is important for that particular effect. The problem is when you have a flat floor, so that people can't see your whole body as you perform the effect. I think that in a lot of cases, you can use your whole body to communicate what is happening there, so even when you know they shouldn't be able to even SEE the bands, they can still fully understand the effect.
I remember seeing Irv Weiner years ago come to colleges in West Virginia, where he would play for 1,000 or more people, and he would open his show with the T & R Cig paper. It was a real lesson in playing something BIG. Everything Irv did fit inside his briefcase, so as I look at what I do today, I realize that Irv was probably the performer whose style had the most influence to what I am doing today.
I have a lot of respect for those guys who travel with huge trucks full of props, but I remember seeing Bill Cosby come to WVU years ago, and only using a chair and a mike to perform for 90 minutes for 5,000 people, and he got a standing ovation while just using words. So you know it can be done with just words alone.
I think one of the keys is to select material that has a very clear, distinct plot, so that what is going on is easy to follow. Also, it should either have a very concise process, or the process needs to be very entertaining or compelling, or you will lose their interest.
I don't think an audience needs to actually see everything as clearly as we might think, but they do need to understand completely what is happening, or you'll lose them.